So, the question gets asked (this time, by MIMA) where does content start and where does marketing begin?
It’s a useful question because too many (way too many) people still think marketing means telling people how great you are and that they should do business with you just because your business exists. They (apparently) don’t worry about giving people a compelling reason to do business with you.
My response: The content IS the marketing.
Marketing using content needs to start with the purpose of wanting to help – NOT about wanting to sell or promote. Of course you want to target so the people you’re helping are more likely to want or need what you do. But your purpose in creating and delivering your content needs to be to help people accomplish what they want to accomplish. Help them meet their needs and their goals.
If your purpose is to pitch then it will show in your content and your content becomes a sales wolf disguised in an educational sheep’s clothing.
People get that. They see through the self-serving pitches so the pitches become ineffective. It’s a waste of time and electrons.
If you want to develop awareness of your business in a way that positions you (or your company) as expert, informative, helpful and interested in serving customers, then create content that helps people accomplish what they want, in the context of your industry or market. Make sure it’s directed toward your target market so you reach the right people.
If you make it useful, people will use it. They’ll be grateful. And they’ll tell others. Sales pitches rarely go viral. Honest, useful and helpful information does.
In content marketing, put your reader first. Help them. If you do this well they’ll want more and they’ll come to you. Then you’ll have the easiest sale in the world.